Do you have an iPhone on you? Great. Go ahead and flip it over. Remove the case if you have to. That Apple logo, present on the backside of the iPhone since its inception in 2007 isn’t quite centered. It actually sits closer to the top end of the phone, almost like the title of a book.
But a series of leaks (one probably from a case manufacturer, one from a supposed Foxconn employee) suggest that may be about to change, according to 9to5Mac. At Apple’s September 10th iPhone event, the company is likely to announce an iPhone 11 on which the word “iPhone” is removed and the logo is newly centered. Here’s what it looks like, according to blogger Ben Geskin:
This is the new iPhones, if case makers are right about Apple logo placement.
If you think that this looks wrong, trust me, this is just a matter of habit. pic.twitter.com/5ekqZWfsox
— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) August 29, 2019
For a company that produces hundreds of millions of phones, it’s a subtle but major change in the branding. It’s a necessary change, too, because the iPhone hardware itself is evolving.
The reason the logo will likely be shifted to the center is the new iPhone’s camera, which reportedly features three lenses and a large square back plate to fit them. In some conceptual renderings of the phone, mocked up by iPhone sleuths at 9to5mac, you can see how top-heavy the back of the phone looks with this layout—it looks oddly squished with the traditional branding:
Centering the logo adds precious blank space and visual balance to the industrial design. But it also demonstrates a more important point: that Apple’s efforts to excite consumers about its next generation smartphone includes investing more and more into the camera—to the point that the camera is becoming the attention-grabbing feature of the otherwise streamlined iPhone. By last count, in 2015, Apple had 800 engineers working on the iPhone’s camera alone. That focus on photography is now being articulated through the hardware design itself, thanks to the chunk of lenses that may be added to the forthcoming iPhone.
Like the look or not, it is a reflection of 2019 smartphone culture. In the age of social media, our phones are now less communication devices with cameras, than cameras that are also communication devices.